Minnesota

Jihad on the defense team [updated]

Featured image Mohamed Farah is one of the ten “Minnesota men” charged with seeking to join ISIS; his case is set for trial along with four others before Judge Michael Davis in federal court in Minneapolis in May. Yesterday Judge Davis entered a somewhat cryptic order. The order states that on March 25 prosecutors notified Farah’s counsel of their “intent to introduce testimony and and evidence at rial in which a member »

Judge Davis says no

Featured image In “Judging the ‘Minnesota men,'” I wrote about Judge Michael Davis’s experimental sentencing program in the Minnesota ISIS wannabe cases. Based on Andy McCarthy’s comments on the program (quoted in the article), I’m skeptical of it. Yet I like and respect Judge Davis. He has capably handled the Somali terrorism cases for several years now. I think it’s fair to say that he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. (The thumbnail photograph »

Shawn Colvin (very) live

Featured image I attended the first two nights of the great Shawn Colvin at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday and Friday. I’ll be back when she winds up her three-night run tonight. Having taken five or six months off from performing live, Shawn is at the top of her form. She is relaxed, engaging, warm, funny, emotional and utterly riveting. The layoff seems to have refreshed »

Kersten’s discipline

Featured image In today’s Star Tribune, my friend Kathy Kersten provides a local St. Paul angle to the politically inspired war on standards that Paul Mirengoff has been writing about over the past several years on Power Line. Kathy’s lead op-ed column will make heads explode all over Minnesota: “The school safety debate: Mollycoddle no more.” There is a relentless quality to Kathy’s analysis that extends from St. Paul Central High School »

Until Now, the Only Goats In Minnesota Were Field Goal Kickers

Featured image How do they control weeds in Minneapolis parks? Mostly, they don’t: park employees just mow them along with the grass. But for some invasive species, the city has been using Roundup, the world’s most common herbicide. Anti-herbicide activists don’t like that, and they showed up in force at a recent Park Board meeting to demand alternatives: The Minneapolis Park Board is considering two new tactics in the battle against weeds »

Judging the “Minnesota men” (with media alert)

Featured image The current issue of the Weekly Standard carries my article “Judging the ‘Minnesota men.'” It’s a companion to my earlier article “The threat from ‘Minnesota men.'” In the new article, I take a close look at the case of Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, who pleaded guilty to one charge of supporting ISIS in federal court in Minneapolis last month. Judge Michael Davis has now created an experimental “de-radicalization” program under which »

Building resilient cash

Featured image Minnesota’s extremely large (and largely Muslim) Somali community presents challenges in a number of respects. It is a high-volume consumer of welfare and social services. It raises the threat of terrorism and support for terrorism. Support for law enforcement to root out the terrorist threat is conspicuous by its absence. Efforts to root out the terrorist threat from within the community, ditto. Somali Minnesotans charged with terrorism related offenses are »

From the mixed-up files of Mr. Abdirizak M. Warsame

Featured image I took a look at the Somali Minnesotans charged with seeking to join ISIS in the December 7 Weekly Standard article “The threat from ‘Minnesota men.'” Four of the ten have pleaded guilty to terrorism charges before Judge Michael Davis, including Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame. Last week Judge Davis adopted an experimental sentencing program to apply to these four cases. In the new issue of the Weekly Standard I focus on »

Does Tax Policy Matter?

Featured image The think tank that I run, Center of the American Experiment, released a paper today titled “Minnesotans on the Move to Lower Tax States 2016.” We held a press conference at Minnesota’s Capitol building to announce the report’s release, and it has garnered considerable coverage on television, radio and in newspapers across Minnesota. The report, based entirely on Internal Revenue Service data, found that in 2014 Minnesota lost a net »

Abdulkadir at large

Featured image I have been working over the past week on an article recounting the case of Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, the Somali Minnesotan who has now pleaded guilty to aiding ISIS and who will participate in the experimental pre-sentence program adopted by Judge Davis. I hope the article will be out this Friday. Yesterday I went to the federal courthouse in Minneapolis to check one of the Warsame case filings in the »

Should Conservatives Abandon the Supply Side?

Featured image The iconic moment for conservatives of my generation was the Reagan tax cuts of the early 1980s. Those supply-side cuts fueled a boom whose ripples are still felt today, and refuted liberal economic theories once and for all. Much has happened since then; taxes have gone up and down. But a common denominator is that whenever federal income taxes have been cut, they have also been made more progressive. The »

Experiment in terror

Featured image We have followed the saga of the “Minnesota men” indicted on terrorism charges as they sought to leave the United States to join ISIS. ON slightly closer examination, these “Minnesota men” turn out to be Somali Muslims seeking to join the jihad abroad. I wrote about them in the Weekly Standard article “The threat from ‘Minnesota men'” and in the Star Tribune column “Islam and Minnesota: Can we hear some »

First Time Farce, Second Time Tragedy?

Featured image For Minnesotans, the Donald Trump phenomenon has an air of deja vu. We have seen this play before, and it doesn’t end well. in 1998, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura (a stage name) ran for Governor of Minnesota as an independent. He had two opponents, one strong–Norm Coleman–and one weak, Skip Humphrey. Through most of the campaign Ventura was given no chance. But as the fall wore on, his campaign »

Counter this

Featured image When I was working on the Weekly Standard article “The threat from ‘Minnesota men,'” I tried to get an interview with United States Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger about the pilot Countering Violent Extremism Program of which he is the nominal head. I studied up on the program as directed by Luger’s spokesman. The spokesman ultimately sent me on my way with a few unkind words about my failings while »

Snowstorms Are Fun!

Featured image A few days ago the Minneapolis Star Tribune dutifully hyped a story to the effect that Minnesota is the number one state in the country to retire to. The story was based on a study that assumed the biggest retirement factor is the number of government-sponsored nursing homes, or something like that. In reality, of course, when people retire they tend to move South. How many people do you know »

Transforming America, One State At a Time

Featured image As regular readers know, I retired from the practice of law at the end of 2015 and, on January 1, 2016, became President of the Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota-based think tank. Both Scott and I have long been associated with the Center. We wrote some of our early papers for the Center and its founder and long-time President, Mitch Pearlstein. Both of us have served on the »

The confirmation of Wilhelmina Wright

Featured image The Senate confirmed Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina (Mimi) Wright as a Minnesota federal district court judge on Tuesday. Heritage Action announced that it opposed her confirmation and that it was important enough that it was scoring the vote on her confirmation as a key vote. Several conservative outlets more or less protested her pending confirmation in advance of the vote. Most Republican Senators voted against her confirmation. If I »